Guys, I have a copper problem. I want copper everything, and I might be going a little overboard (me? never!). But copper is my new obsession, and bringing it in again with this DIY copper pipe magazine rack. I’ve wanted to make a magazine rack for a while – I know most people probably don’t really read magazines any more, but I still have subscriptions to a couple I really like. For several months, I’ve been figuring out the best way to make one. I seriously thought about trying to turn a paper organizer into one but it didn’t quite work out. Then I stumbled across a copper pipe magazine rack in an online store and was like, I can totally make that. So you know what? I did!
From start to finish, it’s a pretty easy project, but cutting the pipe will take some time. We used a hacksaw, which worked fine, but it’s tough work sawing through metal (as I’m sure you can imagine). Big shout out to Andrew for cutting the pipe for me. I got the easy job – assembly and sewing.
- 10 ft. 1/2 inch copper pipe
- 8 elbow-shaped copper pipe connectors
- Hacksaw (or similar tool appropriate for cutting pipe)
- Protective eye wear
- Black marker
- Measuring tape
- E6000 glue
- 1/2 yard fabric
- Scissors/rotary cutting tool
- Matching thread
- Barkeepers Friend (or similar cleaning product, optional)
1. Cut the Pipes
First thing’s first, you need to measure and cut your copper pipe. With your measuring tape, mark the long 10-ft long piece of copper with your marker to cut four 10-inch pieces and four 12-inch pieces. Place the pipe on top of two items of equal height with space in the middle where you will actually cut the pipe. For example, we used two bar stools. If you are doing this inside, I recommend laying down newspaper to catch the copper shavings and reduce the mess.
With your hacksaw, begin cutting at the marked lines. We found that the best way is to saw backwards several times (pull the saw towards you) to maintain the best grip on the pipe. After doing this a few times, you will create a rivet in the pipe that will make it easier for you to begin cutting in a back and forth motion to cut all the way through. Continue until all pieces are cut. It’s totally OK if the ends aren’t cleanly cut – you won’t be able to see them anyway.
This is optional, but we chose to wash the newly cut pipe and the connectors to shine them up a bit. We filled the sink with warm water and Barkeepers Friend cleaning solution and let the pipes sit in it for about 20 minutes. When we pulled them out, they were much brighter. Dry and begin assembling the magazine rack’s skeleton.
2. Assemble the Pipe Rack (Do Not Glue)
To assemble the magazine rack, connect the pipes with the connectors (do not use glue yet) to make two incomplete squares – they should not have a bottom. I suggest assembling it so that the squares are 12 inches tall and 10 inches wide. Use the two remaining 10-inch pieces to connect the bottoms of the two squares, creating a magazine rack shaped like the first photo.
3. Sew the Hammock
Cut one piece of fabric 32 in x 20 in. Fold in half on the long side, right sides of the fabric facing together. Sew a 1/4 inch seam across the open long side and around one corner across one short side.
After that, you should only have one short side open. Turn the fabric right side out and iron flat. On the open side, fold the edges in to fake a seam, iron down and sew across the open side, continuing a thin top stitch all the way around the piece of fabric. Now you should have a double-sided piece of fabric with all edges sewn and pretty.
Then measure the handles for your hammock. Loosely wrap the short side of the hammock around your 10-inch pipe, leaving room for it to hang and sew a seam. Pin where you would like the folded handle to be. Your seam will be on the inside of the hammock (see photo below). Repeat this on the opposite short side of the fabric. It’s better to over measure in this case because if your hammock ends up being too long, it will drag on the ground, which you don’t want, so it’s actually better for the hammock to be too short than too long. Because your pipes will already be put together, it should be easy to tell how the hammock will hang once all sewn together.
When satisfied, remove the pipes to pull off the fabric (this is why you shouldn’t glue anything yet). You don’t need to do anything special here because the ends of your fabric are already finished, so just sew straight across where you pinned, sewing over your existing seam to secure it and back stitching at each end because this will carry all of the weight for your magazines.
4. Assemble and Glue the Rack
Before gluing anything together, remove the two top pipes of the rack (10 inches) and slide on the hammock on each side. Replace the pipes.
When you’re satisfied with the assembly, you’ll see it’s pretty wobbly. Remove one connector at a time to glue them all to the pipes. One line of glue around the end of pipe should stick well once you allow it some time to dry. When you’ve glued all connectors in place and it’s had time to dry, you should notice that it’s much sturdier.
Then fill with magazines and display in your home! You can hold several magazines at a time. I would not recommend letting it get too heavy or you risk some bending or stretching.This is a much better solution to my magazine storage than having them stacked underneath my coffee table. Plus it feeds my copper obsession! Happy crafting!